Recalled Items Are Being Re-Sold Illegally

November 18, 2019

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Generally items that are recalled by the manufacturer or government is due to safety or protect the public from products that may cause illness or injuries. It's the law. But it is perhaps less well-known that the law also makes it illegal to sell recalled products on the secondhand market. And even if individuals aren’t aware of a recall or the law, websites that host their listings should be. Yet an investigation by Consumer Reports found hundreds of recalled items currently for sale on online platforms such as eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Although the terms of use of these websites discourage the sale of recalled items, it is buried deep in their policy pages and essentially are ineffective when people post items for sale. While some websites employ a number of strategies to keep recalled items off their website, it is up to you to do some investigation before clicking the purchase button. And even then it may be difficult to find recalled items.  While some sellers post the item's full name, some do not. Whether you’re shopping online, a secondhand store, garage sale or flea market, ask the seller for the brand, model, serial number, and date the product was manufactured. Or if you can, look for that information yourself on the product or in its instruction manual. Then look up the product on CPSC.gov/Recalls. You can also use the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website to see if the item(s) you are selling have been recalled. At thrift stores or consignment shops, ask if they screen for recalled products. If you see a recalled product posted for sale, let the seller know so that the item doesn’t get purchased and used by anyone else. If a product you own is recalled, follow the manu­facturer’s instructions on how to return or repair it by calling the company or checking its website. Finally, make sure you fill out the product registration card and send it back to the manufacturer. That way, the company can notify you if it is ever recalled or needs a repair.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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